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26 Sep 2016 News No comments

Mark Wahlberg planning biopic of ex-boxer who became a beloved priest

The actor is teaming up with director David O Russell on a screenplay about Fr Stuart Long's life Mark Wahlberg is an unusual figure in Hollywood: an acting su…

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04 Nov 2016 News No comments

Prisoners to be Pope’s VIP guests for jubilee celebration

Sunday's special Jubilee for Prisoners will be celebrated at the Vatican, drawing detainees and their families from around Italy and beyond, including Cincinnat…

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08 Jul 2015 Articles No comments

Papal fallibility and infallibility

A museum curator showed me a contemporary copy of the papal bull "Inter Caetera" by which Pope Alexander VI divided the world between Spain and Portugal with a …

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08 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

Does the Sunday observance begin on Saturday evening, in imitation of the Jewish sabbath?

Full Question In ancient Judaism the sabbath was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. If Sunday is the Christian sabbath, should we celebrate it …

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01 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Family synod an opportunity to support marriage, scholars urge

Vatican City, Oct 1, 2014 / 04:07 am .- Law professors, family advocates and clergy have asked those participating in the upcoming synod of bishops to consider …

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08 Mar 2016 News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis to preside over public consistory to approve canonization of 'Saint of the Gutters'

The Vatican has announced that the Holy Father will convene over an ordinary public consistory of cardinals on March 15 where he is expected to sign the decrees…

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09 Mar 2016 Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (1)

Britain's Catholic Church leader says Government's tactics to combating terrorism risk doing extreme damage

The leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols shared his reflections during a lecture last night and said that the Government…

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05 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope opens Synod of Bishops with call to blend tradition with mercy

Pope Francis opened this year’s Synod of Bishops on the family Sunday with a stirring defense of traditional marriage coupled with an insistence that the Church…

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16 May 2016 USA No comments

Alabama governor praised for signing bill to ban dismemberment abortions

Gov Robert Bentley signed a second bill that prohibits abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of schools Alabama Gov Robert Bentley last week signed…

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Has the Church ever condemned any Marian devotions as idolatrous?

Full Question

Has the Church ever condemned any Marian devotions as idolatrous?


Yes. In the fourth to fifth centuries there was a heresy known as Collyridianism, in which the adherents treated the Virgin Mary as a goddess by offering to her a bread sacrifice during their liturgies. The primary defender of the orthodox Catholic position was St. Ephiphanius of Salamis in his work Panarion.



  1. Joyce Martinko Reply

    I guess I do not understand this – is my Marian prayer book idolatrous? And my Rosary. Are we not to pray to Mary the Mother of God to intercede for us? Am I doing this wrong?

    1. Victoria Mooney Reply

      When we pray to Mary today, it’s not to worship, it’s to ask her to intercede on our behalf, much like she for the married couple in the story of the wedding at Canaa. She didn’t turn the water to wine, but she added an extra voice to the request. By offering bread sacrifices, you are treating her on the same level as the Trinity or a pagan diety and Mary is not of the Trinity. The same concept applies to saints.

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